Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Testing the New Server

I've been moved to a new server. This is just a test post to make sure my cgi is still working.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, January 29, 2007

Week-End Wrap Up

Man, my sister beat me to a week end wrap up! All these new people blogging! In addition to my sister, my aunt, my cousin, and her boyfriend all blogging, now another aunt and another cousin are into the game too. Let's see if they stick with it, or if it's just a new fad. I don't know what I'd do without my blog. It's here for me, mostly, as a way to journal my daily life. Interesting? Probably not to the masses, but I like to go back and see what I was doing three years ago.

So, the week end... Let's see, what happened? Saturday morning I made breakfast for everyone. I had to work at the office, and it was rather busy. We did some shopping in the afternoon, and ate a late lunch (circa 3pm). Late afternoon I installed a new light in the boy's room. The evening? No gigs, but I don't remember exactly.

Sunday morning was me making breakfast again: muffins. Church in the morning, then lunch at Moms--the usual Sunday routine. I took a little nap in the afternoon. From about 4-5pm, I typed up two weeks of Kiwanis minutes. I've been the club's bulletin editor for several years, but with my new position at work, I just don't have as much free time as I used to. So, the minutes get typed when I'm free. This week, I was free on Sunday from 4-5. In the evening, it was back to church.

Oh, I remember Saturday night! I did some web work. Now, where was I?

Sunday night, Susan had planned this rather fancy dinner. Chicken breasts with spinach, mushroom duxelle and goat cheese wrapped en croute, and potatoes cooked rather like a German potato salad. While I really appreciated all the hard work, and all the love that went into it, I will say (and Susan will agree) that the results were not proportional to all the work involved. On a better note, I had some of the leftovers tonight, and the potatoes were definitely better the 2nd time around.

Reading: The Revelation of St. John
Listening to: Masada Rock, John Zorn

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Signs You're Getting Old

1) You're the same age as your kids pediatrician.
2) You're ten years older than your daughter's teacher!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, January 26, 2007

Gina's TV MI-5

Gina says "I had a hard time coming up with the questions this time. Too cold for my brain to think creatively. So, I decided to make this about not thinking too much and inquire about television viewing."

1. Since the hoopla regarding the SuperBowl commercials is in full swing, what would you say is your favorite commercial? Your choice need not be limited to SuperBowl commercials or even American ones for that matter.

Currently, I like the Geico "We hired a real star" commercials. Especially the Burt Bacarach and Little Richard ones. I also liked Tractor Supply Company ads, but I haven't seen any in a while.

2. We seem to be a nation of reality TV junkies. Do have a reality show that you just can't miss? Explain what draws you to or away from reality shows.

Susan watches every reality show on the planet. So that means I watch them. OK, I don't really watch them, but I'm in the room when they're on. I'm probably reading or working on the computer. I do have some vague idea on the premise of the different shows, and I might recognize some faces, but I wouldn't be able to tell you who one Big Brother last season.

3. If you were completely honest, would you be surprised at the amount of time you actually spend watching TV? Does your viewing consumption change throughout the year?

I'd say 2.5 hours. Usually, 1/2 hour in the morning before work (usually the only time I have to watch "my" shows). And, like I said, the TV is on in the evening, and I'm 1/2 watching while doing something else. I'd say it's about the same year-round.

4. As a child did you ever role-play a particular TV character? For example, did you ever pretend to be Superman, Little Joe Cartwright, or even Marcia Brady? Share with us.

Sure! I liked to pretend I was Spider Man. Paddy mentioned Steve Austin, and he was always fun too. While jumping, don't forget to yell "Ba-na-na-na-naaaaaa!"

5. Share with us your most favorite TV snack. If your choice includes a memory or a reason for this particular snack, please let us know.

I don't really have one, I guess. The only TV snacking story I really have is Dad and I used to eat raw Vidalia onions with black pepper and vinegar sometimes while watching the fights. That's about it.

Listening to: a reel-to-reel tape from my wedding
Just finished: 2nd & 3rd John and Jude

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You Heard It Here First

Remember, Billy Rhythm broke the news at 8:30pm Thursday night: My super smart daughter got straight A's again! What a fantastic daughter I have. (Of course, my whole family is pretty terrific!)

Reading: 1st John

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Antiques Roadshow

"Sir, the painting you've been storing in the basement, the one your wife thinks is ugly, is worth $150,000."

Man, looking stunned: "You're not kidding?"

Appraiser: "No, I'm not."

Attention all Roadshow go-ers: If they ask you to be on the air, and tell you your thingy is worth big bucks, beleive you me, they're not kidding. They don't kid. People, I realize you're excited, but you need to think of something more original. Maybe "Oh my goodness, I'm gonna sell this sucka!"

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, January 22, 2007

Life's Finer Things

On Saturday, I found the watch I had lost. Where was it? In the freezer, of course! Apparently, when I was fishing some frozen veggies out of our chest freezer, I must've bonked the band against the wire basket at the top. The pin from band must've popped out, I didn't notice, and BLOOP! It fell in. So on Saturday, while rummaging through the freezer, I found it. Of course, it wasn't running. I left it on the heater for a while to warm up. After a while, I tried turning the stem to see if the hands moved. They did. So I figured the insides were ok. I took it to a jewelry shop today, and they put a new battery in. TA-DA! It worked. What a good watch!


Back in college, I used to use a fountain pen. (See the whole story here.) I thought I'd celebrate my "new" position at work, spend some of the Christmas bonus money, and buy a nice fountain pen. The problem is, no one in Rockland sells fountain pens anymore. I eventually did find one; Staples had two. I bought one of them. I really splurged! :-) Actually, I spent less than $40 on a Waterman Phileus. I like the way it writes, but I'm not huge on how it feels. It's plastic. I would've preferred metal. Or, like Susan's, marble. I like a heavy, thick pen, especially one that feels weighted towards the "butt end" (the cap end) when writing. This plastic job is pretty light. I figure, though, for $38, I can use this one for a while, and if I still really like it, maybe I'll move on to a Harmonie or maybe a black Charleston.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The $15.00 MI-5:

1. You have the $15.00 gift card of your dreams. Where is it from, and how do you use it?

$15 doesn't buy much I'm "dreaming" off. If I'm dreaming of something that only costs $15, I'll just go get it. Maybe $15 to Macaroni Grill.

2. You have $15.00 for lunch. Do you take someone with you, and share the 15.00? Or, do you use it for yourself and eat a little more extravagantly? Where do you go, and what do you eat?

I would definately take someone. Who would I take? Well, assuming Susan's not available, then Jim and Paddy are my usuall lunch buddies. So one of them, and we'd go to either the Chinese restaurant, or The Brass Compass.

3. A CD is generally about $15.00. Which one do you buy next?

Probably Shawn Colvin's latest.

4. You have $15.00 to buy a gift for your best friend. What do you buy?

I'd buy Susan a pin of some sort. She doesn't wear much by way of jewelry, but she's partial to pins.

5. You have $15.00 to give to a charity. Which charity do you pick, and why?

I feel like I give well to my church and my Kiwanis club (both in time and money to each), so I'd probably give to some organization I support, but not with any regularity. Probably the Boy Scouts.

Reading: 1001 Ways to be Romantic
Watching: The Backyardigans (Why? The kids are!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Working Webpage Weekend

I spent a little time make a blog for Susan today. You can find her at www.my-beloved.org.

Also, something strange is happening here with Internet Explorer. Had anyone noticed this? I'll try and fix it here right off, but Susan's logged in now, and wanting to post to her new site, so it'll be a few.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Billing Day Donuts

Early morning here at the office. It's billing day: the day I send many thousands of bills to customers. I start at 6am, getting ready, making files, sending them to the printer, stuff like that. I've got a down second here as I'm waiting for a file to transmit to the bank, and waiting for the printer to spit something out. So I thought I'd tell you locals about my visit to Tim Horton's this morning.

I went in for a donut. It was about quarter to six, and I was the only customer in the store. There were only two employees working: one out front, and one out back. The guy out front was mopping the floor, and greeted me as I entered.

I asked him about the rumor that's been floating around that they're closing. He said he'd heard it, but there was nothing to it. I asked if he'd heard anything from "corporate."

"No, but I'm the owner, so I would know if we were closing."

He went on to explain that many people (including me) thought Tim Horton's is still owned by Wendy's*. And since our local Wendy's closed, people's imaginations were running. He told me that our Wendy's was a corporate location, and not locally owned like our Tim Horton's. Since Wendy's "hasn't been doing so well" (his words), they closed that store and took the loss. Since he owns ours, and loves the Rockland area, he has no plans of going anywhere.

"Besides," he said, "we've only been open six months! And, we're doing better that I, and Tim Horton's, projected."

So dear Rockland readers, it appears the rumors aren't true.

But did you hear that Burger King was closing? :-)

*On a side note, the owner said that Tim Horton's was spun off of Wendy's, and is now a seperate, publically traded company.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Weekend, and a Wrap-Up Thereon

The Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday night. Hmm. It seems so long ago. Susan made a chicken stew for supper. After the boys went to bed, I whipped up a little Bananas Foster for us and neighbors Michael and Erika. They left early to put Baby Maddox to bed, and Susan, Julia, and I played '80s Trivial Pursuit. FYI, if you're considering buying this game, the look of the box is deceiving. The box is decorated like it's all going to be about '80s pop culture. It isn't. The questions, for the most part, were really hard. Who was Israel's Prime Minister in 1982? Um, you got me. The music questions were pretty easy, but the Headlines section was hard. The name of the guy who shot the Pope? No, but I know who shot John Lennon. And the sports questions were crazy hard, mostly because Susan and I aren't into sports.

Saturday, Susan and Julia went to Portland to pick out a dress for Sizzle's wedding. That left the boys and I home! We played with their train set in the morning. Late morning we ran an errand at Wal-Mart, and Aunt Ginny left us some Pizza Hut coupons for lunch. I thought we'd have a little fun, and eat in. Apparently, there was a big order in front of us, and it took some time for our order. The boys were good, but still, two 2 1/2 year-olds in a restaurant can be a little trying, both for parent and server. Once home from lunch, they took a nap, and I watched a show on the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat. Susan and Julia were home by supper, yet they had eaten a big lunch, so I made something for just me and the boys.

Sunday was our usual. Breakfast was roast beef hash and eggs. Sunday school and church in the morning. Lunch was soup at Moms. In the afternoon, we all took naps, and I "watched" a documentary on Humboldt squid. Of course, I had to rewatch the final 20 minutes, as I fell asleep. I went to church in the evening, and then came home. A web site I work with wanted to have their message board updated, as the old version was falling prey to spammers. I started installing that, laying the groundwork for the switchover that was supposed to happen tonight. But things were going so well, I decided to keep going. And it all went very well. The new version of the software even has an import feature, which imports everything from the old board. Nice! Then I went to bed, and read a little Job.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, January 12, 2007

Aunt Ginny's MI-5

Winter is here, even if it doesn't look like it, so I thought it is a good time to talk about that.

1. What is your fondest memory of winter when you were a child? (activity, trip, family story, etc.)
I have all kinds of good memories of childhood winters. Sledding was a popular past time. Luckily, Ma had a pretty nice hill (though it of course seems quite small to me now), so a location was available just next door. When I got a little older, the scouts would always go sledding on the huge hill over on Buttermilk Lane. The only problem was you'd go sooo far, it would take you forever to get back up the hill! I

should also mention the two accidents I suffered during the winter. My first concussion (I had three) was me and a sled colliding with Ma's tree. (Dad asked me why I didn't just roll off the sled before I hit the tree. I just didn't think about it!) Also, the only time I ever broke a bone was playing freeze football at Owls Head School, and Jamie Lamb performed flagrant pass interference on me, pulling me out of the air!!! Neither episode was fun at the time, but it's funny looking back on it.

2. Have you ever had a driving mishap due to snow/ice? Tell us about it.
I've had a few. One time I jerked the wheel to avoid a dog. Susan and I ended up in the ditch, but were easily pulled out. One time I did a 180 right on the slight corner where we attend church. I was going faster than I should've, and the butt of my truck (it was rear wheel drive) decided to pass the front. And one time, during a particularly mean blow, Blind Albert and I ended up in snow bank. I drove all the way from Skowhegan to Rockport without a hitch, and then ended up a little off the road by Mirror Lake. Man, only five minutes from home on what was (on that night) a three hour drive. Again, the truck was rear wheel drive, and I just couldn't get out. A quick tug from a friendly chap in a Jeep was all it took. Since that night, I've kept a folding shovel and a tow rope behind the seat of my truck.

3. What was the worst winter storm that you can remember? Details?
When was the bad ice storm? '98? I also remember the blizzard of '92 (?). I was an announcer of a radio show on Sunday morning. Since the blizzard came through on Saturday night, the station wanted me to be there in the morning for my show, so they put me up for the night. When I got to the station on Saturday night, I worked with the jock who was doing the evening shift. We ended up broadcasting together 'til close to midnight. By that time, it wasn't worth trudging out to the hotel in the blizzard (I had a 5am show), so I slept under a desk in the sales office. I spent the majority of my show reading church cancelations.

4. If you could escape winter this year, where would you go and why?
I always joke about going to Barbados. That sounds nice to me! Or maybe Puerto Rico. Or Grand Cayman. Or Disney World! (I guess it depends on if I escape with the kids, or just Susan.)

5. How do you explain the unusual winter that we are having? Global warming? Natural weather pattern? A plot?
I think we're in a natural pattern of rising temperatures. I think the temperature is rising. I'm not convinced, though, that mankind, fossil fuel, and SUVs are the cause of the whole thing. I think it's just part of cyclical weather patterns. Either that or the Illuminati.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Salsa Survey

Dave Clarke make the ultimate salsa for Billy Rhythm. Why? It's about 50% red onions and 50% cilantro, with just enough tomato to legally be called salsa. In reality, if he left the tomatoes out, it would still be ok by me! :-)

But Dave doesn't swing by my house and make his salsa for me whenever we eat Mexican. So I usually have a jar going in the fridge. For a long time, I prefered Tostitos salsa. Don Imus's salsa is pretty good too. Susan bought me a jar with chipoltes in it. It's good, but the smoke adds a somewhat heaviness to the sauce. Good on tacos, not so much for chipping.

So tell me, what's your favorite salsa? My ideal salsa would have fresh tomato flavor, with a pronounced cilantro presence. Have you got one that fits? Harv, you're big into salsa, what say you? Pete, you ate a whole jar the other night. What brand? C'mon, folks: spill!

(Oh, and in the market tonight I looked at the salsas. Peach salsa is big. Black bean and corn salsa. I even saw a cherry salsa. No "cilantro" salsa. Why? Maybe I need to hit the market!)

Reading: Hebrews
Listening to: Corrine Bailey Rae

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, January 8, 2007


Dave "Quick" Clarke wanted to know where "Ferry Me Down" came from. He asked if it had anything to do with Brian Ferry of Roxy Music.

Um, no.

It comes from two songs and a Sylvia Plath poem. See the "Get More Here" section for the lyrics and words.

Set this day by the hand of Billy Rhythm [Link] [Get More Here]

I've lost my watch.

I have five watches. Of those, I only regularly wear two.* My daily watch is the one Mom bought me for Christmas last year. (It looks similar to this one, but mine has a moon phase.) I have another watch that I wear when I "dress down." If I'm working around the yard, or wearing jeans, I'd be wearing that watch. I bought that watch at JC Penney, back when I was working at McDonalds as a manager. So that was what, 1991? It was an analog/digital diver's watch, similar to this. It was worn and beat; the finish was wearing off. Still, I liked it because I had it so long. But somehow, I've managed to lose it.

Where did it go? How does one lose a watch. It's not where I put it when I take it off. It's not by the sink at home. (Even though it's waterproof--after all, it's a diver's watch--I take my watches off when I wash dishes.) It's not by the sink at the office. It's just gone apparently.

Good bye, watch.

*The other three watches? I have two pocket watches: one from Susan that she gave me for high school graduation (broken and beyond repair), and one from Mom and Dad (broken, but under warranty if I ever send it in). I also have on of my grandfather's watches, but I don't wear it. I would be horrified if something ever happened to it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Christmas Forgets

I try to do some things at Christmas every year. This year, I forgot a whole bunch.

1) I forgot to post "For Jesus on His Birthday" by Millay. I try to post it every year as my last post before Christmas. I forgot.

2) On Christmas Eve, we always read "The Polar Express," and listen to the book on tape. We didn't.

3) We didn't leave out cookies for Santa.

4) I didn't do the year-end "snares I bought this year" wrap-up.I bought two, and ended up selling one of them, so I'm only up one: the Premier Heavy Rock Nine. (Note: that snare is not my actual snare. Mine is better.)

Where has my head been?

Oh, and there's a new look here.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Workstation MI-5

This week's MI-5 was inspired by the items in my workspace:

1) Pictures: Do you have pictures around your work area? Who are they of? Why are they there?

I have two pictures in frames on my desk. My beloved wife is in one. My flower of loveliness is in the other. For some reason, I don't have a framed photo of the boys on my desk. I must get that corrected. I also have two "brag books" that Susan made me. They're small scrapbooks that I can look through, with all kinds of nice photos of the kids.

2) Mouse: What's your mouse like? A simple two button job, or the even more simple Mac one button number? Or maybe a roller ball?

I have two mice at my desk, as I run two computers. My Mac Mini is the machine I use for email, web browsing, and most other stuff. On that machine, the mouse (which I use with my left hand) is a Microsoft Intelli-Mouse Optical. I hate mice with roller balls. This mouse also has two buttons on the side in addition to the three on the top. I use them to control forward and back on my web browser. The center wheel is also a button, and that's set for double click. I bought this style mouse at Sam's Club a few years ago. I liked it so much, I bought a second one for the office. Yup, the mouse I use at work was purchased by me.

On my other computer--a Windows machine with the mouse on my right--I have a plain Jane two button, one scroll wheel optical mouse. The scroll wheel isn't even set for double click! I need to download the correct drivers for it.

3) Snacks: I have snacks at my desk. Do you have them at yours? What are they?

I have a drawer full of high quality chocolate. Jim, Paddy, and Gina frequently hook me with good dark chocolate. Jim's like a chocolate pusher to me! I also have a bag of mint Milano cookies that came from, can you guess, Jim.

4) Pens: Have you got a favorite style of pen? A certain color you fancy? Tell us!

I do have a special pen that my friend Rick gave me. It's a little mini pen that's rather small. When you put the cap on end in order to write with it, it feels like a full size pen. I also keep a red pen on my desk, as I use it for editing. I also use it to cross things off the "to do" list. I write the list in black, and cross stuff off with red.

5) The calendar: It's a new year--have you got a new calendar up? What's on it? Why did you pick that one?

My "secret Santa" in 2005 (Aunt Suzy--or maybe Unk) got me a giftcard to Bookland. I used it just a few days ago to buy a Van Gogh calendar. I like to write on my calendars, so I like the ones with the pictures above, and full space to write on below. I like Van Gogh, so it was an easy choice. It also came with four free magnets!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

New Year

Aunt Ginny opined that no one was blogging. I can tell you, I had a weekend packed full. And really, I'm not going into the whole thing. What I will say, though, is that on New Year's I played two gigs in one night. I played from 6-8pm with steel drum band Steelin' Thunder, and then from 8:30 - 11:30 with Three Button Deluxe. Both bands received rave reviews from the press. Check these:

"The mood was joy and happiness all night long," said Mortier, who was busy trying to sign up several popular acts for next year's celebration. Among those at the top of her list were Three-Button Deluxe, a swing band whose music got kids, teens and seniors jitterbugging at the Waterfall Arts Center... Village Soup

"She kept one eye on the audience listening to Steelin’ Thunder, a 13-member community steel drum band that offered everything from calypso and jazz to rock n’ roll and classical music. The crowd ranged from children to grandparents and spilled out the door when seats ran out.

At Waterfall Arts in the former Anderson School, an older crowd jitterbugged around the dance floor while musicians in zoot suits from Three Button Deluxe played swing music from the 1940s and ’50s." The Republican Journal, complete with photo of me in a purple zoot!

"Three Button Deluxe was such a hit at the Waterfall Arts center, where "people were dancing like crazy," she said, that the band will be moved to a larger venue next year." Bangor Daily News

How was your New Year's?

Watching: Anthony Bourdain

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: